Monday, December 19, 2011

OK to crucify Mbeki - but don't be rude to Zuma

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It's OK to crucify Mbeki - but don't be rude to Zuma
The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 20 December, 2011 00:30

The Times Editorial: Mosiuoa Lekota, then chairman of the ANC, four years ago warned his comrades to stop singing songs that vilified certain party leaders.
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It's OK to crucify Mbeki - but don't be rude to Zuma At the time, just days before the ANC's national elective conference, no one listened, including the organisation's alliance partners, the SA Communist Party and union federation Cosatu.

Lekota's appeal for restraint was dismissed as nothing but a lot of hot air. He was accused of being a publicity-seeking pop idol doing his best to campaign for President Thabo Mbeki.

But now, four years later, the ANC is finding it difficult to stop some sections of its membership insulting its leaders, including President Jacob Zuma.

Suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema joined his supporters in singing anti-Zuma songs at the ANC's Limpopo provincial elective conference and no one stopped them.

The ridicule and disrespect to which Zuma was subjected at the weekend is a clear sign that the horse has bolted and that the ANC will now find it difficult to stop insults against its leaders.

Yesterday, the SACP in KwaZulu-Natal called on South Africans to join forces to defend Zuma against what it said was a sustained attack on the office of the Presidency.

The SACP's KwaZulu-Natal secretary, Themba Mthembu, called on people to unite to protect Zuma's image.

"If we are patriotic citizens, we need to join forces and protect the president. We cannot sit on the sidelines and watch people ridicule [him].

"We are duty-bound to protect him and we will engage the ANC on this matter," he said.

But this call by the SACP to rally to the support of Zuma's dignity is sheer hypocrisy. Why call on South Africans to protect Zuma's image when, back in 2007, nothing was done to stop the unbecoming behaviour that was visited on Mbeki?

What's good for the goose must be good for the gander.


iLIVEArticlePractise what you preach: iLIVE

Thabile Mange | 20 December, 2011 00:21
COSATU's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who reacted strongly when former president Thabo Mbeki sought a third term as ANC leader, is considering going for another term.
After his third re-election, Vavi publicly announced it would be his last term.

Why is he going against his word?

His claim that he is being persuaded by the provinces to stay on doesn't stick. He can simply tell them he's not interested.

By considering the provinces' request, is he not setting a bad precedent?

Why is it okay for him to seek re-election for the fourth time, and wrong for Mbeki to go for a third term?

This is hypocrisy at its worst. There are other capable cadres who can take the federation forward.

Irvin Jim and Frans Baleni come to mind. Why are they not being considered?

It is an open secret that Vavi harbours political ambitions.

However, the political future of the longest-serving Cosatu general secretary doesn't look bright.

This is because he's made enemies through his undiplomatic utterances.

When Jacob Zuma ascended to power, he invited Vavi to serve in parliament, but he refused. Vavi said he wanted to focus on his secretary-general duties.

He must be kicking himself for not jumping at Zuma's offer.

Vavi is leading a campaign against corruption, particularly in government departments.

Corruption is a cancer, eating away at the soul of our nation.

It is robbing the country of a lot of money that is supposed to be used for development.

So Vavi's campaign is spot- on and has the backing of many people.

However, Vavi seems to be turning a blind eye to corruption in the unions.

The workers' subscription monies are abused and mismanaged, and there is no accountability.

Workers never receive audited financial statements and don't know how their money is being used.

For instance, the South African Municipal Workers Union in Gauteng is said to have blown millions of rands.

The only thing workers know about the case - through the media - is that the Gauteng leadership has been suspended.

Will the money ever be recovered?

Vavi should stand by his word and do the honourable thing: pass the baton to others.

If he agrees to stand for re-election, he'll be what he accused the former president of being: a power monger.

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